Research Output

Representations of Feminist and Lesbian Consciousness and the Use of Subversive Strategies in Selected Poetry of Isabella Jane Blagden

  The purpose of this study is to recover and revise the contribution made to women's writing by the English minor novelist and poet, Isabella Jane Blagden (1817-1873), who was the centrifugal force of an influential literary and artistic milieu in Italy, in the mid-nineteenth-century. Key figures in the group were the poets Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning and the American writer, Henry James. This study is a revisionist critique which questions the prevailing masculine discourse and conventions which oppressed women in terms of their sexual, political and economic
freedom. This, therefore, fits into the Victorian phenomenon of women poets finding their own space and expression against patriarchal norms. My focus on Blagden's poetry, with its scope for liminal/subliminal suggestiveness, enables an exploration
of her subversive and transgressive feminist-lesbian poetics. Recent contributions from feminist and lesbian theorists and critics, are examined in order to establish a feminist-lesbian interpretation of gender, sexuality, subversion and transgression.
A secondary consideration is Blagden's role in the aesthetic consciousness of others and her apparent inspirational position at the centre of the creative groups of intellectual emigrės in her circle. While most of her friends and acquaintances had a public persona, Blagden did not, and her work has received little discussion and
debate. In order to ensure her significance as a feminist-lesbian poet and Muse, this study will focus on her contribution to nineteenth-century women's poetry. As a contribution to literary scholarship my aim is to bring Blagden in from the margins as
a poet of non-canonical status, to one whose status is placed firmly within the continuous literary tradition of radical feminist-lesbian women writers in the nineteenth century.

  • Type:

    Thesis

  • Date:

    31 May 2016

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • Library of Congress:

    PR English literature

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    820 English & Old English literatures

Citation

Gordon, S. R. (2016). Representations of Feminist and Lesbian Consciousness and the Use of Subversive Strategies in Selected Poetry of Isabella Jane Blagden. (Thesis)

Keywords

Feminist literature, Victorian women poets, patriarchal norms, feminist-lesbian poetics,

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